Harry Gray, the man who gave the largest personal gift to the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center at Patriot Park, died Wednesday.
He was 89.
“He loved Soldiers more than any man I know,” National Infantry Foundation President Jerry White said. “He carried his 2nd Infantry coin and his favorite poem, It is the Soldier, in his pocket every day. He never forgot the men he fought with, and spent the rest of his life honoring them. His death is a real loss to the Infantry and to the nation.”
He gave the Infantry Museum, which opened last month, $2.5 million.
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Gray fought with the 2nd Infantry Regiment in World War II. The museum’s mezzanine is named for that regiment.
Gray twice visited the museum, the last time in March when the mezzanine was dedicated.
Bronze busts of Harry and his wife, his helmet and other memorabilia, including the Silver Star awarded for valor during the Battle of the Bulge, are on display in the museum.
Gray was the former chairman and chief executive of United Technologies. The Hartford, Conn.-based Fortune 50 company is the parent of aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, Otis elevator, Sikorsky Aircraft and other businesses.